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Assumptions

Topic 8: Flow in Packed Beds


Class Notes - Chapter 6.4 (Transport

Phenomena)

Friction factor correlations are available for a


variety of systems. One complex system of
considerable interest in chemical engineering is
the packed column. There are two approaches
for developing friction factor expressions for
packed columns:

Packed column visualized as a bundle of tangled


tubes of variable cross section (more successful
theory).

Packing is statistically uniform, so that there is


no channeling.
Diameter of the packing particles is small in
comparison to the diameter of the column in
which the packing is contained.
Column diameter uniform.
Definition of friction factor for the packed
column

Where;
L=length of the packed column
Dp= effective particle diameter
v0 =superficial velocity
w= volume flow rate
S= empty column cross section

Correlations
Pressure drop through a representative tube in
the tube bundle model:

Packed column regarded as a collection of


submerged objects.

In which the friction factor for a single tube is a


function of the Reynolds number:

By substituting the pressure drop into the


friction factor correlation we get:

Where;

The pressure drop is obtained by adding up the resistances


of the submerged objects (above figure).

0
2 =
= A/S
<>
= void fraction = fraction of space in the column not
occupied by the packing
A= available flow area
S= empty column area

The hydraulic radius can be expressed in terms


of the void fraction and the wetted surface area
per unit volume of bed as follows:

By substituting this equation ( ftube ) into the


friction factor correlation we get;

Where;
G0=pv0= mass flux to the system and

1-= (2/3) DpG0/


When this expression for f is substituted into its
initial expression we get

Where;
a= wetted surface area

and is related to the specific surface by:

av is the specific surface (total particles


surface per volume of particles) and is used to
define the mean particle diameter by:

This is known as the Blake-Kozeny equation.


The last two equations do not apply to any
system. They are physically limited for:
<0.5
DpG0/*(1-)+ <10
B. Highly Turbulent Flow
For highly turbulent flow in tubes with any
appreciable roughness, the friction factor is a
function of the roughness only, and is
independent of the Reynolds number.

and

By substituting this equation (hydraulic radius)


into the friction factor correlation we get;

Ftube= 7/12
By substituting this equation into the friction
factor correlation we get;

We now adapt this result to laminar and


turbulent flows by inserting appropriate
expressions ftube.

When this expression for f is substituted into its


initial expression we get

A. Laminar flow
ftube= 16/Reh
Experimentally ftube=100/(3Reh)

This is the Burke-Plummer equation and is valid


for:

Note that the dependence on the void fraction


is different from that for laminar flow.
C. Transition Region
By superposing the two expressions for
pressure drop for the case A and B we get

For very small v0 this simplifies to the BlakeKozeny equation and for very large v0 to the
Burke-Plummer equation.
The above equation may be rearranged to form
dimensionless groups:

Problems
6A-6) Estimation of void fraction of a
packed column. A tube of 146 sq in cross
section and 73 in height is packed with
spherical particles of diameter 2mm. When
a pressure difference of 158 psi is
maintained across the column, a 60%
aqueous sucrose solution at 20 C flows
through the bed at a rate of 244 lb/min. At
this temperature, the viscosity of the
solution is 56.5 cp and its density is
1.2865g/cm3. What is the void fraction of
the bed? Discuss the usefulness of this
method of obtaining the void fraction.
Data:
D = 146 in2 (

This is the Ergun equation. The Ergun equation


is but one of many that have been proposed for
describing packed columns.
The Tallmadge equation is reported to give
good agreement with experimental data over
the range

L= 73 in (

2.54

1
2.54

) = 185.42 cm

Dp = 2 x 103 m (

Tallmadge equation:

< 105

100
1

) = 0.2 cm

P = 158 psi (6.8947 x 104) = 1.09 x 107g/


cm.s2
w = 244 lb/min

0.1<

)^2 = 941.93 cm2

g/s

453.59
1

1
60

) = 1844.60

= 56.5 cp

= 1.2865 g/ cm3
First we obtain the v0
v0 = w/ S
v0 =

1844 .60
1.2865

g
cm 3

(941.93cm 2 )

= 1.522cm/s

Then we obtain void fraction


3
1
3
1

Equation:

150v0
2

150 0.565 185.42 (1.522)


0.2 2 1.09 107

Applying differentiation:

3
1

= .05486

= 0.2997 =0.30
6A.9) Flow of gas through a packed
column. A horizontal tube with a diameter
4 in. and length 5.5 ft is packed with glass
spheres of diameter 1/16 in., and the void
fraction is 0.41. Carbon dioxide is to be
pumped through the tube at 300K, at which
temperature its viscosity is known to be
1.495 x 10-4 g/cm s. What will be the mass
flow rate through the column when the inlet
and outlet pressures are25 atm and 3 atm,
respectively?
Data:

1 2
3
7 2 1
+
4
3

dp

= 150
dz
2

And: v0 = G0/

dp

1 2
= 150
dz
2
3
7 2 1
+
4
3

Then we assume CO2 is an ideal gas


=

Integrating

D= 4.0 in(
25atm
7

2.54
1

) = 10.16 cm

10 5

1.0133
1
2

1000
1

p0 =

1
100

= 2.533 x

10 g/cm.s

12
( 1
-4

2.54
)( 1 )

dp =
po

150
0

3atm
6

1.0133 10 5
1
2

3.0400 x 10 g/cm.s
Dp = 1/16 in(

2.54
1

1
3

7 2
4

1
3

= 167.64 cm

= 1.495 x 10 g/cm.s
=

pL

L= 5.5 ft

pL

Po PL

1 2
= 150
L
2
3
7 2 1
+
4
3

(po2 pL2 ) = 150


1000
1

1
100

= 0.41

=
+

7 2
4

1
3

1
3

)= 0.15875cm


2 2

Multiplying by we obtain:

(po2 pL2 ) = 150


+

7 2
4

1
3

1
3

= .

Now we obtain:

. = .
+ .

To do it simple, we do the calculation by


terms

Then we use the Quadratic Formula


-

First Term

3
1.495 104
= 150
0.158752
150

150

1
3

=
1 0.41
0.413

167.64

753.42 265744.95
31639.7

= .

Second Term

7 2
4

The positive root is:

Then we obtain the mass flow rate w

7 2 1

4
3
7
2
1 0.41
=
4 0.15875
0.413

= .

753.42 753.422 + 4 15819.85 (1.116106 )


2(15819.85)

=
=

167.64

=
.

2
Go
4

10.16
4

= .

8.375

Third Term
po pL =

2 2

2 2

44.01
=
8.3145 107 300
3.0400106 2

2.533107

References/Aditional Information

BSL, Chapter # 6, Section # 4


http://web2.clarkson.edu/projects/sub
ramanian/ch301/notes/packfluidbed.
pdf
http://rothfus.cheme.cmu.edu/tlab/pb
eds/projects/t4_s04/t4_s04.pdf

Walter Gabriel Rivera


Nilka Marie Rodriguez
Laura Rivera
Freddie J. Rivera
Elis A. Rivera
Keyshla R. Rivera